Korean adoptees find culture at festival

By Jamie Sun
Northwest Asian Weekly

Kids decorated flags at the festival. (Photo by Jamie Sun/NWAW)

On May 31, more than 100 people gathered at South Bellevue Community Center to celebrate the annual Korean Culture Festival, hosted by the Korean Adoptee Family Foundation (KORAFF).

The event included Tae kwon do performances, traditional Korean games, cooking classes, crafting, and drawings for round-trip airplane tickets to Korea.

The executive director at Korean Adoptee Family Foundation, Susan Chung, founded KORAFF while working as an educational consultant. It started with one adoptee family, and now the organization has 80 families. KORAFF’s goal is to meet the needs of Korean adoptees and their families by sharing cultural resources that they otherwise would not have access to, including information about their Korean heritage and culture, language tutoring, mentoring, and special events.

“We have Korean high school student volunteers, and they manage the whole thing,” said Chung. “Twice a month, first week of the month, we do Korean School, and third week of each month, we have events. We also have Korean culture events, Korean school, and camping events every year. Forest Ridge High School provides the space for us.”

Brady Kasper, a parent of a Korean adoptee, said his family attends several events throughout the year. “Our daughter Abigail is Korean-born,” said Kasper. “We think it’s very important for us to understand Korean culture, and get to know Korean things. Not only to explore for our daughter, but also for our two sons to know the Korean culture.”

Louise Eberhart, a parent of an 8-year-old adoptee, said her family doesn’t have much day-to-day exposure to Korean culture. “This program is great, it helps to expose our daughter, Grace, and all of us to the Korean culture,” she said. “This event can make her comfortable, and seeing other people look like her is nice.”

“Good and fun here,” added Grace. (end)

Jamie Sun can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

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